Bruce Lee Podcast

Bruce Lee Podcast

United States

Join Bruce Lee's daughter Shannon Lee and culture analyst Sharon Ann Lee for a conversation about the life and philosophy of Bruce Lee. Bruce Lee was a famous martial artist, movie star and cultural icon--but his philosophy has caught fire around the world inspiring millions searching for meaning and consciousness. Each episode will dig deep into Bruce’s philosophy to provide guidance and action on cultivating your truest self. “Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless like water. Now you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup, you put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle, you put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.”


#55 1 Year Anniversary: Shannon and Sharon share their podcast challenge stories  

We are having our first live event tonight, Thursday, July 20th, at 6pm at the Central Library in Downtown Los Angeles. It’s first come first serve with limited seating so try to be there by 5:30pm! This episode marks our one-year anniversary for the podcast! We created this podcast to honor and celebrate Bruce Lee's philosophy and share it with the world. Thank your for listening and going on this journey with us. We wanted to celebrate the one-year anniversary and recognize the 44th anniversary of Bruce Lee’s passing by completing the Bruce Lee Podcast Challenge for two weeks. When we shared the challenge, we worried that people might not participate, but so many of you completed it. We got such an overwhelming response to the challenge that it’s taking us much longer to go through all the entries, and we won’t be able to pick just one winner. Your accomplishments, roadblocks, and leveling up have truly astounded and moved us; you blew us out of the water. We applaud you Bruce Lee Podcast Community! Since we can’t pick just one winner, over the coming weeks we will pick several winners. Each winner will receive the prize, a conversation with us, and a chance to be on the podcast. Even if you don’t win the prize, we read so many wonderful Bruce Lee moments you should stay tuned into future episodes because you might hear your name on the podcast as our Bruce Lee moment. Shannon and Sharon both did the Bruce Lee Podcast Challenge, and shared their experiences on this episode. Shannon’s Affirmations: 1.“Be”: Rather than striving for some perfect expression, or impression, in each moment I will simply be. I can fill the space with my energy by radiating my being-ness because I am enough as I am. 2.“Natural Action”: Knowing that I am easily tired by forceful actions, when I do act I will take the most organic and natural route for my soul, so that I may flow with rather than against my own stream. 3.“Intention”: Knowing that my soul is fed when I am purposeful, I will imbue my actions and plans with meaningful intentions, so that no matter what I am doing, whether resting or working etc., I am doing so with deliberate awareness. These three affirmations work together. Shannon used all of the action items together, the “I’d feel better in my body if…” and “Letting others be,” and they became affirmations as well. Shannon’s second action item was “I’ll feel better in my body if I meditate everyday.” She also had a second one: “I’ll feel better in my body if I were to slow down and eat more thoughtfully, and chew my food more thoroughly.” Sharon’s Affirmations: 1.“I love my body! It’s the source of creativity, connection and outrageous pleasure!” 2.“I am so blessed. I am so loved by the love of my life. My children are healthy, happy and flourishing. I am free to create anything I want. Thank you, thank you, thank you!” 3.“Today will be a day of abundance, magic and joy. All green lights and delights!” Sharon’s second action item of “I would feel better in my body if…” was based off a quote by Michael Pollan: “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.” Sharon adjusted the quote to be personal to her: “Eat delicious food, mostly plants. Taste each bite and enjoy!” Her other action item was “Move my body once a day in a joyous way!” Harmony action item: “Letting others be.” The last action item of “Letting others be,” was challenging and illuminating. You expend energy when you judge, rant and rave, so when you minimize those thoughts, you actually conserve energy. When you get anxious and stressed about other people’s choices you amp yourself up into a frenzy of negative energy. If you just turn the volume down and let them be, you can save energy and feel better. Just meditating on the simple idea of letting others be provides you with great relief and freedom. We’re honored that you are listening, participating and growing with Bruce Lee’s wisdom. Thank you for co-creating this show with us. Much love, Shannon & Sharon

#54 Gentleness  

Gentleness was key to Bruce Lee’s philosophy of life and practice as an artist. Bruce equated gentleness with his idea of emptiness, non-resistance internally, the place in which the moment can happen and where spontaneous action springs from. Gentleness equals life. Gentleness is strength. “The essential unity of the universe, the leveling of all differences, the relativity of all standards, and the return of all to divine intelligence and the source of all things – from all this naturally arises the absence of desire for strife and contention and fighting for advantage. A peaceable temper is bred in man that emphasizes nonresistance and the importance of gentleness.” Gentleness is the coming together, not the coming a part of things. “The assimilation of the tao has its foundation in tenderness and quietness.” Bruce Lee personally struggled with having a temper, but he researched his own experience. He was able to be neutral about examining himself and recognized that he needed to cultivate his gentleness. “Because a man can yield, he can survive.” Yielding is an action. “Act spontaneously without prearrangement, ensure the spirit of harmony with nature, see no violence done and have the result of peace and freedom from disturbance. Nourish the spirit so it can find stability.” “True stillness, is stillness in movement.” There’s always action, always things happening, but if we can remember our gentleness then we can be more content. “You cannot hurt that which is formless. Nothingness cannot be confined; the softest thing cannot be snapped.” “Patience is concentrated strength.” To have discipline is to have patience, is to have endurance, and is to keep moving one step at a time. “I must give up my desire to force, direct, strangle the world outside of me and within me in order to be completely open, responsible, aware, alive.” Take Action: How can you re-envision gentleness as strength? Where can you “allow" instead of force? Practice hitting the pause button this week instead of reacting with anger, impatience or negativity. #AAHA This week our #AAHA is from a listener nomination: The awesome Asian/Hapa that I'd like to share with you and the world is my cousin Arus Ubeque Manning. Arus is Blasian (half black half Asian) and was raised in Oakland California but now lives in Dallas TX with is beautiful wife and 3 children. He works for NBC as a video/graphics art designer for our local channel 5. When my cousin Arus was about 6 I remember hanging out with him as a young adolescent myself and Arus being so inquisitive about EVERYTHING! "Why this and why that?" A torrent of questions and discovery was always in flow with him. Two years ago his dad passed away after a bout with lung cancer and I looked at the man he has become and could see so many quiet, satisfactory inaudible answers emanating from that same curious kid! He is the embodiment of peace, happiness and 'cool.' I wish the world knew the man that I admire and love... My Hapa, Arus Ubeque Manning.” #BruceLeeMoment This week’s moment comes from Richard B.: “In 2000 I was an officer in an Air Force cybersecurity unit. A top-tier book publisher saw me speak at a conference and asked if I would write a book on detecting and stopping hackers. I considered this a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, but I declined. I did not feel that I was prepared to authentically express myself in written form. I spent several years refining my thoughts, and in 2003 I sent a detailed outline to the publisher. They accepted it, and in 2004 "The Tao of Network Security Monitoring" arrived in bookstores. I named it after Bruce Lee's most famous book because I felt that I was expressing myself through my philosophy and practice of network defense.” Share your #AAHAs, #BruceLeeMoments, and #TakeAction progress with us at Find the full version of our show notes at

#53 Meaning Of Life  

What is the meaning of life? “The meaning of life is that is to be lived.” What he means by this is that life is meant to be engaged with, present in, taking action toward; it is not to be conceptualized or only thought about, but actually participated in. Water was Bruce’s metaphor for life, always moving, always changing, always flowing, and you want to be right in the flow of it. “You can never step in the same water twice, my friend. Like flowing water, life is perpetual movement. There is nothing fixed.” “Realize the fact that you simply live and not live for.” “Living exists when life through us- unhampered in its flow, for he who is living is not conscious of living, and in this is the life he lives.” It’s important to fully feel the bad or difficult experiences so that you can let it flow through you and you can let go the negative energy. If you don’t let it flow through you then you end up holding on to and internalizing that pain. “Be pliable, when a man is living he is soft and pliable, when he is dead he becomes rigid. Pliability is life, rigidity is death, whether one is speaking of one’s body, mind, or spirit.” When you are rigid about something it actually becomes easier to be hurt. “Since life is an ever flowing process one should flow in this process and discover how to actualize and expand oneself.” There is freedom when it is ok to take risks, when it’s ok to fail, when it’s ok to have unlimited joy. Have the attitude “Well, let’s see what happens,” because when you’re pliable whatever happens you can bend and recover. “Remember, my friend, to enjoy your planning as well as your accomplishment. For life is too short for negative energy.” Success is not a destination; it’s in the journey. You can have your plan and your goals, but you must engage in the process and be open to change. Don’t engage in negative energy or feelings because they can trap you along the way to your goal. “We realize that manipulation and control are not the ultimate joy of life – to become real, to learn to take a stand, to develop one’s center, to the support of our total personality, a release to spontaneity – yes, yes, yes!” “To spend time is to pass it in a specified manner. To waste time is to expend it thoughtlessly or carelessly. We all have time that we can either spend or waste, and it is our decision what to do with it, but once it has passed it is gone.” Take Action: How can you let go of negativity? How can you be more present? Try not to trap life in a box, but live it moment to moment. How can you flow? “The primary reality is not what I think, but that I live.” #AAHA This week our #AAHA is Californian Filipino Victor Diaz Zapanta. Victor has worked in tech, politics, and political activism. He’s an advocate for Asians getting represented properly in media. Victor has used his skills as a digital producer, researcher, news media, and user experience designer, for a number of government organizations such as He organized Google Hangouts in Asian languages, it was the first hangout aimed at educating Korean Americans how to purchase insurance through the Affordable Care Act, and other topics aimed at Asians making sure they have proper access to different government programs. Victor has great style and is skilled at writing haikus. Victor, we think that you’re awesome! #BruceLeeMoment "I was water. I flowed in the stream of life, carving my own path. Sometimes I crashed, but I continued to flow. As I became older, I began to make choices that froze me. I became a piece of ice, drifting in the stream. Gone are my choices and freedom. Now I am frozen with debt and restriction, only flowing where the stream takes me. Paths I wish to take pass by as I am no longer able to flow where I wish. When I pay debts I melt, ever so slightly." Share your #AAHAs, #BruceLeeMoments, and #TakeAction progress with us at Find the full version of our show notes at

#52 Hack Away the Unessentials  

What does it mean to “hack away the unessentials”? “It is not daily increase but daily decrease, hack away the unessential. The closer to the source, the less wastage there is.” Bruce Lee applied this primarily to his martial art, but also in life, heading towards simplicity of movement, thought, and being. “Avoid the superficial, penetrate the complex, go to the heart of the problem, and pinpoint the key factors.” “Do not beat around the bush. Do not take winding detours. Follow a straight line to the objective; simplicity is the shortest distance between two points.” This doesn’t mean take the shortest route, but ask in real life what is unnecessary. “Scratch away all the dirt your being has accumulated and reveal reality in its nakedness.” We accumulate this dirt as protection and security, and it’s not easily shed. There are so many distractions clothed as things to make your life easier, but they distract and clutter instead. “It is not difficult to trim and hack off the nonessentials in outward, physical structure. However, to minimize inwardly, is another matter.” Practice minimizing inwardly by clearing your physical space and then taking that practice inward and clearing your mind of negative thoughts. “To obtain enlightenment means the extinction of everything which obscures the “real life.” At the same time it implies boundless expansion.” “The spirit is by nature, formless, and no “objects” are to be harbored in it. When anything is harbored there, psychic energy loses its balance, its native activity becomes cramped, and it no longer flows with the stream. Where the energy is tipped, there is too much of it in one direction and a shortage of it in another direction. But when the spirit harbors nothing in it, nor is it tipped in one direction, it transcends.” Take Action: Examine your life and ask, “Am I living the life I want to live? Where are areas where could I have more joy?” What can you let go of? How can you be more direct? How can you un-clutter your environment? #BruceLeePodcastChallenge The challenge ended Monday, and we are now accepting your entries until Friday evening, June 30th, 2017. Enter here: #AAHA Sumi Jo is a Grammy Award-winning South Korean lyric coloratura soprano. In 1983, Jo decided to leave SNU in order to study music in Italy at the Academia di Santa Cecilia in Rome. In August 1986, she was unanimously awarded first prize in the Carlo Alberto Cappelli International Competition in Verona, one of the most important contests, open only to first-prize winners of other major competitions. In 1986, Jo made her European operatic debut as Gilda in Verdi’s Rigoletto at the Teatro Comunale Giuseppe Verdi in Trieste. Simple Song Number 3, written by David Lang, performed by Jo, and featured in Paolo Sorrentino’s 2015 film Youth, was nominated for an Academy Award in 2016 in the Best Song category. Jo was invited to the ceremony and attended, but she was not invited to perform the song. Jo and Lang voiced their disappointment with the producers’ decision to exclude the song, indirectly referencing the controversy relate to that year’s Academy Awards lack of racial diversity. Thank you for sharing your talent Sumi Jo, we think you’re awesome! #BruceLeeMoment From listener Francisco: “My Bruce Lee moment was when I got tattooed "Be like water" in my arm. It was a time when I was going through a lot of things in my job, my relationships and my vision of the world that is very vicious and dangerous…This quote helped me to be flexible, adapt and not react but understand other’s people intentions and where they come from and build confidence and mindfulness in my relationships with the world that I used to see as harsh, but now I see it as an adventure and daily challenge that makes me better.” Share your #AAHAs, #BruceLeeMoments, and #TakeAction progress with us at Find the full version of our show notes at

#51 Three Stages of learning, technique & cultivation  

The three stages are of learning, technique, and cultivation, have all been touched upon in previous episodes, but this week we dive deeper into each one. The three stages of learning: 1. A punch is just a punch 2. A punch is no longer a punch 3. A punch is just a punch Three Stages of Technique 1. Synchronization of self 2. Synchronization with opponent 3. Under fighting condition “Within all the training thrown to the wind, with the mind perfectly unaware of its own working, with the self-vanishing nowhere, anybody knows where, your art attains perfection.” Three Stages of Cultivation 1. Partiality 2. Fluidity 3. Emptiness “All technique is to be forgotten and the unconscious to be left alone to handle the situation. Technique will assert its wonders automatically or spontaneously. To float in totality, to have no technique, is to have all technique.” “Pride is a sense of worth derived from something that is not organically part of us. While self-esteem is derived from the potentialities and achievements of self.” Bruce Lee used martial arts to learn about himself as a human being. When we learn something new, then we learn more about ourselves. “A fateful process is set in motion when the individual is released “to the freedom of his own impotence” and left to justify his existence by his own efforts. The individual on his own, striving to realize himself has created all that is great in literature, art, music, science, and technology. This autonomous individual is a breeding ground of frustration and the seed of the convulsion that shakes our world to its foundations.” Take Action: Try an experiment: Go out and decide what you want to learn. Have these stages in mind to use as a vehicle to learn, but also to know oneself. If you’re looking to break through from stage 2 to stage 3, look for your points of frustration to find the things that you need to work on. #BruceLeePodcastChallenge We are in the 2nd and final week of the Bruce Lee Podcast Challenge! We’ve been making a daily practice of three action items from previous episodes and we’ve invited all of you (our listeners!) to participate. We’re really looking forward to sharing our experiences and hearing from you. It’s not too late to join us for the last few days. Entries aren’t due until June 30th and you can find more info at #AAHA This week our #AAHA shout out goes to Nellie Wong, poet activist for feminist and socialist causes. Wong was born in Oakland, California in 1934, to Chinese immigrants. The interment of her Japanese American neighbors left a profound impact on her intellectual development, sensitizing her to issues to racism and concerns of Asian Americans. While in her mid 30s, Wong began studying creative writing at San Francisco State University (SFSU) and began to write and publish her poetry. In the 70s, Wong co-founded the Asian American feminist literary and performance group Unbound Feet. She has recited her poetry globally. She has received awards from the Women’s Foundation, and University of California. We love and celebrate you, Nellie, for releasing your passion out into the world and thank you for being such a brave and great role model for other Asian women! You’re awesome! #BruceLeeMoment From Luke K.: “I had a workout regimen I did for about 3 years, and it made a huge improvement on my body. However, after doing this for so many years it has become a bit tedious and boring to a point that it was hard to work out. I started to ask myself why I want to workout. What is it that I want to improve on my body and why. Like Bruce I was starting to more at a function body than just having a ripped one. Now I’m doing a variety of workouts to improve my punching capability, gain a higher kick, and over all have more energy and stamina.” Share your #AAHAs, #BruceLeeMoments, and #TakeAction progress with us at Find the full version of our show notes at

#50 Intuition  

Intuition is often described as your “gut feeling,” but Bruce Lee defined intuition in many different ways--as body feel, the root, the creative tide in us, natural instinct, guidance, and free movement of spirit. “What we are after is the root and not the branches. The root is real knowledge; the branches are surface knowledge. Real knowledge breeds “body feel” and personal expression; surface knowledge breeds mechanical conditioning and imposing limitation and squelches creativity.” “The superior man lets himself be guided.” “Don’t think – feel. Feeling exists here and now when not interrupted and dissected by ideas or concepts. The moment we stop analyzing and let go, we can start really seeing, feeling – as one whole.” A truly awake person is using their mind, body, and heart all at once. “Here is natural instinct and here is control. You are to combine the two in harmony. If you have one to the extreme, you will be very unscientific; if you have another to the extreme, you become a mechanical man and no longer a human being.” “Trust the life-giving force within.” Bruce wrote a letter to his friend Pearl when he was 21 where he discusses this feeling and he writes about all the things he wanted out of life and wanted to do with his life. “I feel I have this great creative and spiritual force within me, that is greater than faith, that is greater than ambition, greater than confidence, greater than determination, greater than vision, it is all these combined. And my brain becomes magnetized with this dominating force which I hold in my hand.” At this young age, Bruce is becoming in touch with this inner energy and recognizing that if he can combine it with his dreams and what his mind wants, he can accomplish anything. “Sharpen the psychic power of seeing in order to act immediately in accordance with what it sees.” Often we can be too analytical about a situation letting our minds decide everything for us. Bruce was able to accomplish so much in his short life because he sharpened this ability to see the truth and then to act immediately in accordance with that. “Freedom lies in understanding yourself from moment to moment. If you look within yourself and know you have done right, what do you have to fear?” Take Action: Listen to your whole body and follow your gut. Journal about it and create an awareness of repeated themes. Try a test of following your gut and see how it works out for you. Does following your gut work out to be the right choice for you? #BruceLeePodcastChallenge We started the Podcast Challenge on Monday, we’re doing it and you should do it too! It’s for two weeks and it’s not too late to join us. We’re excited to have our friend actor Osric Chau participating in the challenge too! Find the rules at #AAHA This week our #AAHA is Indian director Shekhar Kapur. He’s known for directing “Elizabeth” which was nominated for 7 Oscars. In 1975, Kapur started his career in film as an actor in the movie “Jaan Hazir Hai” and later moved to directing with the movie “Massom” in 1983. In 1994 he directed the acclaimed “Bandit Queen,” and in 1998 he received international recognition for the Academy Award winning film “Elizabeth”. Shekhar Kapur, we respect your true artistry and think you’re awesome! #BruceLeeMoment This week’s moment comes from listener Grant: “I realized that I had allowed myself to enter the pattern and I was punching the water repeatedly and allowing my frustration to build because the results were always the same and that I needed to find a different way. I realized that the place I wanted to be was simply enjoying what time I have with my family and that I was choosing to step aside from that to focus on a sideshow aimed at making me unhappy.” Share your #AAHAs, #BruceLeeMoments, and #TakeAction progress with us at Find the full version of our show notes at

#49 Meditation  

Meditation has been around for thousands of years, but it’s recently become popular with a broad audience. Modern people need it to create peace from a frenzied world with unrelenting distractions and demands. Typically, mediation is thought of as the practice of sitting still in the crossed leg position, for an extended period of time to quiet the mind. Bruce Lee practiced meditation through movement, such as running, practicing punching, on his exercise bike, or just walking around his backyard in quiet contemplation. He used natural movement as a way to meditate and connect to himself. “It is not a technique of introversion by which one seeks to exclude matter and the external world, to eliminate distracting thoughts, to sit in silence emptying the mind of images, and to concentrate on the purity of one’s own spiritual essence. Meditation is not a mysticism of “introversion” and “withdrawal.” It is not “acquired contemplation.” To think that this insight is a subjective experience “attainable” by some kind of process of mental purification is to doom oneself to error and absurdity.” “We do not arrive, we are. Don’t strive to become, but be.” “Do not separate meditation as a means from enlightenment as an end.” When we’re in our normal, everyday headspace, we are often in “list” mode, thinking about all the things we have to do or fix. In the moment of meditation you don’t need to be goal or purpose oriented. “Any effort the mind makes will further limit the mind.” When we are meditating we are the unattached observer, existing without concentrating on any particular thing. In meditation, just letting something ”be” is the practice of being non-judgmental for a short time. “A simple mind is one that functions, that thinks and feels without motive. Where there is a motive, there must be a way, a method, a system of discipline. The motive is brought about by the desire for an end, for a goal, to achieve that goal there must be a way, etc. Meditation is a freeing of the mind from all motives.” Take Action: Try meditating for a week, five minutes a day or longer if you want. Try different types of mediation to figure out what works for you—sitting, walking, bathing, dancing—whatever connects you to this effortless space where your mind is free of motives. Notice how it feels in your body to connect to this calmness. Podcast Challenge: Starting this Monday June 12th, 2017, join Shannon and Sharon in a 2-week Action Challenge to practice Bruce Lee’s philosophies. One winner will be picked to be a guest on the Bruce Lee Podcast and receive a Bruce Lee gift bag! Find the rules and challenges at #AAHA Our shout-out goes to English actress Jessica Henwick. She’s the daughter of a Singaporean Chinese mother and a Zambian-English father. In 2009, she was the first actress of East Asian descent to play a role in a British TV series when she was cast in the lead role of Bo for the BBC show Spirit Warriors. She went on to be in Game of Thrones, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and Iron Fist. Her acting chops continue to be praised and she’s become a fan favorite. Jessica, you’re doing great work and we think you’re awesome! #BruceLeeMoment This week our moment is from listener Thom: “I wind up with a philosophy degree plan after some soul-searching, but before I could complete my final year, I suffered a stroke. I don't remember what or how it came about that I landed on "Just Remember to Breathe, " but when I say that to myself I recognize my thoughts are just that, thoughts. All the possible outcomes of my day boil down to one, my emotions are reined back, my mind clears a bit and I recognize the past can't be undone, the future is unwritten, so what's left? Now. It's all we got. Time to act.” Share your #AAHAs, #BruceLeeMoments, and #TakeAction progress with us at Find the full version of our show notes at

#48 Art of Soul  

The Art of Soul is about living the artist’s life and mastering the art of living as a whole human being. “The ultimate aim of the artist is to lay hold of the art of living. Be a master of living for the soul creates everything.” Bruce had a clear vision about what it took to be an artist of life: “Requirement to be an artist – purity of heart.” “The aim of art is to state in aesthetic creation the deepest psychic and personal experiences of a human being.” “An artist’s expression is his soul made apparent. Behind every motion, the music of his soul is made visible.” Bruce Lee believed that we are each artists of our own lives. We don’t have to create creative artifacts or achieve the status of an artist in society in order to be an artist. “Art is the way to the essence of human life. The aim of art is not the one-sided promotion of spirit, soul and senses, but the opening of all human capacities – thought, feeling, will – to the life rhythm of the world of nature.” This is about co-creating your life with the world and revealing your soul. Everyone has their own expression of artistic activity, whether it’s in your relationships or actually an artistic creation. This is the personality as a reflection of our soul, not our social persona we put on for show. “The artless art is the art of the soul at peace.” When you start to cultivate what makes your heart sing and you start to flow with that, that brings a sense of centeredness and peace which is fully self-generated. “All vague notions must fall before a pupil can call himself a master.” These vague notions hold you back and cause you to drift in a place of uncertainty. “The true artist has no public. He works for the sheer joy of it, with and element of playfulness, of casualness. Art reaches its greatest peak when devoid of self-consciousness. Freedom discovers man the moment he loses concern over what impression he is making or about to make.” There is true freedom in being yourself. Be as weird as you want to be. “Simplicity is the last step of art and the beginning of nature.” When we simply and honestly express our soul, we become more natural—closer to nature. Take Action: What makes your heart sing? How could you share that? How could you unfold your personality and make who you are more visible? If you’re just starting this, it doesn’t have to be the world, it can just be one trusted co-conspirator who won’t judge you who you can be honest with. #BruceLeePodcastChallenge: June 12, 2017 - June 26, 2017 A 2 week action challenge to integrate Bruce Lee’s philosophy into your daily life. One winner will be picked to be a guest on the Bruce Lee Podcast! Go to for more details! #AAHA Our shout-out goes to Korean American actor and musician John Cho. He’s best known in his role in the Harold and Kumar movies, and plays Hikaru Sulu in the Star Trek reboot film series. Cho is open about experiencing racism in his career in Hollywood and purposely pursues roles that break Asian stereotypes. He has said that one of his biggest frustrations is how Hollywood seeks to follow trends and acts like followers of culture rather than starting and leading social trends or artistic movements. We think you’re awesome John Cho! #BruceLeeMoment This week’s moment is from listener Thomas N.: “Long days of study were overshadowed by frantic thoughts of whether I could be approaching the task in a more efficient or intelligent way. Bruce says: "Like everyone else you want to learn the way to win, but never to accept the way to lose. To accept defeat—to learn to die—is to be liberated from it! So when tomorrow comes, you must free your ambitious mind and learn the art of dying." That was it. I had to accept the possibility of failure, stop trying to find ways to weasel myself into success, and simply do.” Share your #AAHAs, #BruceLeeMoments, and #TakeAction progress with us at Find the full version of our show notes at

#47 The Six Diseases  

The six diseases of the mind are obstacles that you will confront on your path to wholeness and fluidity. The Six Diseases: The desire for victory The desire to resort to technical cunning The desire to display all that has been learned The desire to awe the enemy The desire to play the passive role The desire to get rid of whatever disease one is affected by All of these diseases occur when we seek outside validation. The desire for victory is the desire to win at all costs, usually at the cost of someone else. Wanting to win is not a bad thing, but when it overtakes you and blinds you to everything else is when it becomes a problem. It becomes not about the victory itself, but about coveting and becoming attached to that outcome. The desire to resort to technical cunning is the desire to outsmart, to be overly clever, to the exclusion of other tools of success. This is being showy, flamboyant and attached to form. The desire to display all that has been learned this is the desire to appear super knowledgeable and “wow” people with your knowledge. Essentially, this is a desire to be a know-it-all and be better than everyone else in the room. This creates no space for anyone else’s opinion. The desire to awe the enemy this is the desire to have your enemy to look at you with fear and wonder. This is an intimidation through show of force. The desire to play the passive role this is the desire to be unaccountable or to be the martyr. This is a desire to appear easy going, but it can be used as a weapon of guilt. The desire to get rid of whatever disease one is affected by. It is good to want to get rid of your disease, but you don’t get rid of it by denying the disease, you get rid of it by being with it. By integrating it you see that you are participating in this disease; the desire to get rid of the disease is a fantasy of being perfect without working through it. “Any technique, however worthy and desirable, becomes a disease when the mind is obsessed with it.” Desire can quickly lead to obsession and can keep away from your real life. “The deluded mind is the mind affectively burdened by intellect. Thus, it cannot move without stopping and reflecting on itself. This obstructs its native fluidity.” “We should not seek knowledge, but discover the cause of our ignorance.” Take Action: Any tool becomes a problem if you rely too much on it. How much do you rely on outside validation? What changes are you resisting? Are your moods based on outside validation? Create a list of the times where you experienced each of the Six Diseases. #AAHA This week our #AAHA shout out goes to Chinese contemporary classical composer, Tan Dun. He’s known for doing the scores for “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, ” and “Hero” and composing music for the 2008 Beijing Olympics medal ceremonies. A lot Dun’s music incorporates organic materials such as paper, water, and stone and is often inspired by traditional Chinese theatrical and ritual performance. Tan Dun won an Academy Award for his score of “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.” Dun continues to create audio-visual masterpieces, experimenting with theater, film, and opera. Tan Dun, thank you for your work and we think you’re awesome. #BruceLeeMoment This week our moment comes from listener Tony P.: “For Christmas several years ago, my wife bought me The Artist of Life. I could not put it down. For someone who could not finish even a short book before, I completed this book in record time. I also began to love Bruce for the philosophy and wisdom that he had. I have worked on putting his passion and commitment to excellence to work in all areas of my life. I now pick a couple of things I want to work on and I put my all into it. As Bruce would say, "I make mind up to do and I am going to do it, man!" Share your #AAHAs, #BruceLeeMoments, and #TakeAction progress with us at Read full version of our show notes at

#46 The Mind is a Fertile Garden  

“The mind is a fertile garden – it will grow anything you wish to plant – beautiful flowers or weeds. And it is with successful, healthy thoughts or negative ones that will, like weeds, strangle and crowd the others. Do not allow negative thoughts to enter your mind, for they are the weeds that strangle confidence.” Bruce Lee had a really strong practice of planting seeds of beautiful flowers in the fertile mind. Often we have people come into the office to look through Bruce’s journals and they wonder where his writings on his doubts and struggles are, and Shannon tells them that these don’t exist. Bruce had a regimented practice of keeping his mind on the things that he wanted instead of the things he didn’t. Bruce would turn anything that did not feel like success into a learning moment, converting it into something that would lead towards success. He would keep focused on the things that he wanted saying: “You will never get anymore out of life that you expect.” Optimism takes effort, it is a practice, especially in the face of difficulties. “If you think a thing is impossible, you’ll make it impossible. Pessimism blunts the tools you need to succeed.” If you’re constantly worrying about all the possible bad scenarios, it takes you out of the moment. These “what if” scenarios might never happen, but they can distract and worry us. “Suffering is mostly self-manufactured.” “Suffering itself does less to afflict the senses than the anticipation of suffering.“ The mind is neutral but it will grow anything you plant, including negative or positive thoughts. “One who is possessed by worry not only lacks the poise to solve his own problems, but by his nervousness and irritability creates additional problems for himself and those around him.” Every time we retell our problem stories to others, we are putting that negativity on that person too. “Defeat is a state of mind; no one is ever defeated until defeat has been accepted as a reality.” “Every man is what he is because of the dominating thoughts which he permits to occupy his mind.” Take Action: Become aware of your negative thoughts. Know what they are, think about any place in your life where you are struggling. Take anything you are having negative thoughts about and make a list on a piece of paper. Then on the other side of the paper take the time to write the negative thoughts as positive ones. Example: Change “I don’t have enough money” to “I am in the process of finding a way to make more money.” You can return to this list to affirm what you want. #AAHA This week our #AAHA shout-out goes to Chinese American Steven Ho, martial artist, stunt coordinator, stuntman, director, writer, co-founder of interior design firm, and member of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. He has followed his passions with a positive attitude, and he came to prominence in martial arts as one of the first martial arts tricksters in open martial art competitions. He is well regarded for his stunt work as Donatello in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. He and his wife founded Plush home, a successful interior and furniture design firm. Steven, we admire your positive, Bruce-like energy, and we want to say you’re awesome! #BruceLeeMoment This week we our moment is from listener Anthony S.: “I've recently graduated college at the untraditional age of 28 and sometimes it's difficult to stay motivated, often feeling like "my time is running out" I have many ambitions and I only seem to get to the "dream phase" of what my life could be. These messages you share give me hope in a way to say to myself "it's never too late," and I am grateful for that…I firmly believe if I engrain or instill your father's message over and over my subconscious will take over and I will follow my own path to happiness and peace of mind.” Share your #AAHAs, #BruceLeeMoments, and #TakeAction progress with us at Find the full version of our show notes at

#45 Dissolving Our Attitude  

Bruce Lee often carried notes to himself or affirmations on notecards in his wallet. One of these read: “Be aware of our conditioning. Drop and dissolve inner blockage.” “Inner to outer – we start by dissolving our attitude not by altering outer conditions.” We are all raised in a culture, whether it is a family, community, or national culture. We all have a way we view the world depending on how we entered or experienced it as a child. When Bruce says, “Be aware of our conditioning,” he is saying that it is good to acknowledge and be aware that we are not bias free. Drop and dissolve inner blockage by freeing yourself from things having to be a certain way. This returns to the concept: “Using no way as way, having no limitation as limitation.” We start by dissolving our inner attitude, not by altering our outer conditions. “Do not have an attitude; Open yourself and focus yourself and express yourself. Reject external form that fails to reject internal reality.” One of our current dominant cultures is the workplace and we let it seep into our personal life more and more. “One should get rid of the obtruding self and apply himself to the work to be done as if nothing particular were taking place at the moment.” You don’t have to have a rigid framework around everything, take off the rigidity and just do what you need to do. “The mind itself is endowed with infinite mobilities that know no hindrances. “ It’s clear that these philosophies were helpful to Bruce Lee, especially because during the time Bruce was alive and working towards his goals, other people were constantly putting limitations on him. “Discard all thoughts of reward, all hopes of praise and fears of blame, all awareness of one’s bodily self. And, finally closing the avenues of sense perception, let the spirit out as it will.” Bruce was in a whole practice of Mind, Body, and Spirit. His gateway into this mental and spiritual experience was through martial arts and teaching. “Man’s mind and his behavior are one, his inner thought and outer expression cannot contradict each other.” Many of us have personas or masks for every situation and it can be exhausting. Dissolve your attitude and judgment; take off the masks to let your true spirit out. Take Action: Ask this: Can I take off the masks? Can I be myself no matter where I am? Take a step back and ask what your heart really wants. Try being truthful with your spirit and dissolving your attitudes. #AAHA This week our #AAHA shout-out goes to Malala Yousafzai, Pakistani activist for female education and youngest Nobel Prize Laureate. She’s best known for her human rights advocacy for the education of women in Northwest Pakistan where the local Taliban had banned girls from attending in school. In 2009, when she was 11, Malala wrote a blog under a pseudonym for the BBC detailing her life during the Taliban occupation. In 2012, the Taliban made an attempt on her life. That murder attempt sparked an international outpouring of support for her. She has since started the nonprofit the Malala Fund, has co-authored a book “I am Malala”, been the subject of numerous documentaries, and been on Time magazine. The most important thing is that Malala has become a voice against the suppression of children and women and for education as a right. Malala, as everyone already knows, you’re awesome! #BruceLeeMoment This week our moment comes from Darrel M.: In my spare time I run RPGs (D&D) well I run a Star Wars version. We are having great fun, and this campaign I have introduced a character based on Bruce Lee. It has been fun to try and translate his philosophy into the game. In fact we had a rather long debate (in my gaming group) about the Dark Side, evil, morality, and the like. This made me stop and consider what I had learned from your Bruce Lee podcast…” Share your #AAHAs, #BruceLeeMoments, and #TakeAction progress with us at Find the full version of our show notes at

#44 Charles Russo: Author of Striking Distance: Bruce Lee and the Dawn of Martial Arts  

This week we sit down with journalist Charles Russo, author of “Striking Distance: Bruce Lee & the Dawn of Martial Arts in America.” His book covers Bruce Lee’s early years as a young martial artist in San Francisco and his polarizing effect as a brash upstart in the Bay Area martial arts scene of the 1960’s. Charles Russo’s interest in Bruce Lee started with his fascination of the history of the Bay Area (San Francisco, CA.) Russo was sitting in his photojournalist class and another student was sharing images of Chinatown, including a picture of the Chinese Hospital stating that that was the hospital where Bruce Lee was born. Russo says, “It blew my mind…how come no one had every told me that Bruce Lee was born in San Francisco?” It instantly made San Francisco that much cooler and interesting, but he was indignant that no one was celebrating that fact. So he decided to look into that story. Once Charles started looking into the story of Bruce Lee and San Francisco, he found a treasure trove of forgotten history. Bruce’s Bay Area years in the 60’s mark the origins of martial arts culture in America. And the small group of young martial artists he collaborated with would collectively create the modern martial arts movement. Striking Distance chronicles the old guard of the San Francisco martial arts masters as well as Bruce’s influential friendship with James Lee and the young bucks of Oakland trying to modernize the old styles. Russo also tells the dramatic story of the friction Bruce had with the established Chinatown martial arts community resulting in that famous showdown fight in Oakland that inspired Bruce Lee to create his own martial way called Jeet Kune Do. We also discuss who actually won that famous fight between Bruce Lee and Wong Jack Man--Bruce’s scientific street fighting versus traditional flamboyant style. Charles also tells us why Bruce Lee is one of the philosophical godfathers of MMA. #AAHA (Awesome Asians and Hapas) Charles Russo had two #AAHA shout-outs for us. His first shout-out goes to his friend and colleague Sara Hayden, a young hapa journalist who helped Russo with editing his book. Sara is currently working on a project called The Silk Knots Project, which documents and preserves the stories of Asian Americans and Hapas in the American West. Russo’s second #AAHA shout-out goes to his childhood friend Korean American Brian Leo, a visual artist in NYC. Leo’s work is “garage-pop surrealism” and you can view his work at Sara and Brian—you’re awesome, keep up the amazing work! #BruceLeeMoment Russo shares that since working on his book, he has had many #BruceLeeMoments. Specifically, when he was watching the Netflix show “The Get Down” and seeing the character Shaolin Fantastic who wears a Bruce Lee belt buckle, how Bruce Lee is viewed as the badass cool in the early hip-hop community. Russo thinks of the Bruce Lee quote, “Absorb what is useful, discard what is useless, make something uniquely your own,” as he’s watching the early DJs discuss isolating the break beat parts of records and making something uniquely their own. Russo realizes this embodies exactly what Bruce Lee was talking about. He now recognizes so many of Bruce’s ideas influencing culture and that we are just now understanding the ideas he was talking about over 50 years ago. You can purchase Charles Russo’s book here: “Striking Distance: Bruce Lee and the Dawn of Martial Arts in America” Share your #AAHA and #BruceLeeMoment recommendations with us via social media @BruceLee or email us at

#43 Be a Nobody  

Bruce Lee often carried around philosophical ideas written on small index cards as reminders throughout his day. One of these was: “Inwardly, psychologically, be a nobody.” To him, this meant, get the ego out of the way, have some detachment, and be a blank slate--a human being first. That way you can approach each situation anew with fresh eyes. Be as neutral as you can be. “Establish nothing in regard to oneself. Let things be what they are. Move like water, rest like a mirror, respond like and echo, pass quickly like the nonexistent, and be quiet as purity.” As an active person with big goals, Bruce often encountered obstacles throughout his day and quotes like this helped center him and maintain his flow. “I must give up my desire to force, direct, strangle the world outside of me and the world within me in order to be completely open, responsible, aware, alive.” This is not to say you should not exercise your willpower, it’s to say that your willpower should be connected to your essence and your heart. “It is to see things as they are and not to become attached to anything – to be unconscious means to be innocent of the working of a relative mind – when there is no abiding of thought anywhere on anything – this is being unbound. This not abiding anywhere is the root of our life.” Be in response to everything in the moment. Be free of masks and identities. If we get too attached to any identity, it takes us into a direction away from our essential humanity. “My only sure reward is “in” my actions and not “from” them.” “You cannot hurt that which is formless. The softest thing cannot be snapped and emptiness be confined.” “To be consciously unconscious or to be unconsciously conscious is the secret of nirvana. The act is so direct and immediate that intellect finds no room here to insert itself and cut it to pieces.” Take Action: Be a nobody and go on a social media diet. What does it feel like to go on a break from their outward projection of identity? Another step is to write down this quote, “Inwardly, psychologically, be a nobody.” and carry it around for a week and use it to help you navigate situations without ego. #AAHA This week our #AAHA shout-out goes to Chinese contemporary artist and activist Ai Weiwei. He was the artistic consultant on the Beijing National Stadium for the 2008 Olympics. From 1981 to 1993 he lived in the U.S. and studied briefly at Parsons School of Design in NYC. He began experimenting with art by altering ready-made objects. In 1993, Ai returned to China after his father became ill. This is when he started doing his first architecture projects. In 2008, there was an 8.0-magnitude earthquake in the Sichuan province and Ai led a team to survey and film the post-quake conditions. Ai felt that the government lacked transparency in revealing the names of the students who perished in the earthquake and so he launched a “Citizens’ Investigation” to compile the names of the victims. He has been viewed very harshly by he Chinese government because of his activism and was held for 81 days without any official charges being filed. We just want to applaud Ai Weiwei for his courage and for being a real artist in the world. We think you’re awesome Ai Weiwei! #BruceLeeMoment This week’s moment comes from listener Carrie L. M.: “I think what moves me most, is the commitment to not just present Bruce Lee's material accurately, but that you both are very congruent and committed to your personal growth not only in the process of presenting this legacy, but in yourselves. This adds an element of integrity to the cast which makes it even more of a powerful force in passing forward the wisdom Bruce honed and mastered over the years.” Share your #AAHAs, #BruceLeeMoments, and #TakeAction progress with us at Find the full version of our show notes at

#42 The Underdog & The Top Dog  

Bruce Lee played many characters that were unassuming and didn’t want to get into fights, but then could kick everyone’s butt in 10 seconds when he needed to. As a small Asian man, no one expected that sort of power from him. Because of the characters he played, many people think of Bruce Lee as an Underdog who became a Top Dog through dedicated training. He gave everyone who felt underestimated or undervalued hope and strength. In this episode, we talk about Bruce Lee’s broader philosophical ideas of The Underdog and the Top Dog. An Underdog is a person thought to have little chance of winning a fight or a contest; a person who has little status in society. And the Top Dog is usually an aggressive Alpha-type person. Bruce called the Top Dog and the Underdog the "two clowns" of our personality. “The Top Dog usually is righteous and authoritarian; he knows best. He is sometimes right, but always righteous. The top dog is bully and works with “you should’ and “you shouldn’t.” The top dog manipulates with demands and threats of catastrophe, such as – “I you don’t, then…you won’t be loved, you won’t get to heaven, you will die…” and so on.” “The Under Dog manipulates with being defensive, apologetic, wheedling, playing the crybaby, and such. The underdog has no power. The underdog works like this, “I tried my best; I can’t help it if I fail. I have good intentions.” So you see the underdog is cunning, and he usually gets the better of the top dog because the underdog is not as primitive.” “So the top dog and the underdog strive for control. They strive for each other for control. The person is fragmented into controlled and controller. The inner conflict is never complete because both the top dog and the underdog fight for their life.” People often view Bruce Lee as a perfectionist, but he was actually against perfectionism as the ideal. “The ideal is a yardstick which gives you the opportunity to brow beat yourself, to berate yourself and others. Since this ideal is an impossibility, you can never live up to it. You are merely in love with this ideal and there is no end to the self-torture, the self-nagging, self-castigating. It hides under the mask of “self-improvement.” It never works.” At the bottom of his essay on the Underdog and the Top Dog, Bruce writes: NOW = EXPERIENCE = AWARENESS = REALITY Take Action: Do you identify more strongly with Underdog or Top Dog? Can you identify the two sides within yourself? Once you notice where you let the Top Dog out or the Underdog out, try in that moment to reel it back to create more space and resist the habitual reaction. #AAHA This week our #AAHA shout out goes to Tony Award Winning playwright, screenwriter, and theater professor David Henry Hwang. His early plays dealt with the role of the Chinese American and Asian American in the modern world. David has won many awards including the Obie Award for FOB (Fresh Off the Boat) and was the first Asian American playwright to win a Tony Award for his play M. Butterfly. After that he became a frequent collaborator as a librettist with world-renowned composer Philip Glass. In 2014, David premiered his play Kung Fu about the life of Bruce Lee at the Signature Theater Off-Broadway. David has done a lot of amazing work and is excellent at shining a light on the depictions of Asians and Chinese in America. We think you’re awesome David Hwang! #BruceLeeMoment This week our moment comes from listener Tommy N.: “Listening to the podcasts and stretching, meditating, cooking organic food, going to the market, creating new recipes, really going with the flow and bettering myself, I realize that Bruce Lee was able to realize the 'Buddha' potential and was able to work daily on cleansing the mind, body, spirit, of uncleanliness that pervades our 'toxic' 'ecosystem environments.” Share your #AAHAs, #BruceLeeMoments, and #TakeAction progress with us at Find the full version of our show notes at

#41 Unity  

Bruce Lee lived his life as a human being who was connected to all of humankind—one unified family on this planet. He said, “You know how I like to think of myself? As a human being. Because under then sky, under the heavens, there is but one family.” What we need, especially in these divided times, is a message of unity and connection. Bruce Lee has a way of uniting people, and his fans are global. We continue to hear stories of how Bruce has affected so many different people from all around the world. One such story is about the town of Mostar in Bosnia, After years of enduring a violent civil war, they finally reached peace and wanted to build a monument that symbolized this new peace. They decided to construct a statue of Bruce Lee as a “symbol the whole community could rally behind” and a “monument to the idea of universal justice, one idea having that justice, knowledge, honesty, good intentions can fight against corruption, evil, ignorance.” To many people around the world, Bruce Lee symbolizes an energy of universal justice because he lived with integrity, advocated for the underdog and dedicated his life to self actualization and being in harmony with his fellow man, his community and the planet. No matter where Bruce was in his life, his close friends said he always treated people the same and authentically—no matter who they were. His wife Linda would say that Bruce looked at everyone evenly. “Wisdom does not consist in trying to wrest the good from the evil but in learning to “ride” them as a cork adapts itself to the crests and troughs of the waves.” “The world is to be seen as an inseparable, interrelated field, no part of which can actually be separated from the other. Oppositions are mutually dependent instead of mutually dependent instead of mutually exclusive, and there is no longer any conflict between the individual man and nature. That is, there can be no bright stars without dim stars, and, without the surrounding darkness, no stars at all.” Take Action: Think of something you can do to create unity energy in your life and try to take action towards it. Think of a person who you would normally have judgment for, and try to have compassion for them instead. #AAHA Allen Joe is credited with giving Bruce Lee his first set of weights and inspiring Bruce to build up his body. Allen trained under Ed Yarick with such luminaries as the four Mr. America Body Building Championships: Clancy Ross, Jack Delinger, Roy Hilligenn, and Hercules-actor Steve Reeves. In fact, Allen was the first Asian to win the Mr. Northern California Bodybuilding Championship in 1946. He is also a World War II veteran, Allen currently 94 years old says, “you can never forget Bruce, once you have met him” and indeed, he still carries a picture of Bruce in his wallet. #BruceLeeMoment This week’s moment comes from Khnum “Stic” Ibomu (dead prez): “I am a hip hop artist and producer (dead prez), and Bruce Lee's legacy and philosophy has been one of my greatest inspirations. I am writing this letter to express my sincere gratitude for the impactful work you are doing to continue sharing the legacy of your father in a way that is tremendously helpful for others. I can't put into words how much of an inspiration and personal contribution he has made and continues to make in my life. I truly appreciate the podcast and how much love goes into sharing his philosophy and making the concepts tangible and actionable. Bruce's wisdom is immeasurably valuable and your eloquent unpacking has given me new layers of perspective and invigoration. Thanks to Bruce's inspiration, I realized that I am not limited to fit in any one box and I've been able to explore and develop many aspects of my self from the "no way as the way" Philosophy I have adopted from His teachings.” Share your #AAHAs, #BruceLeeMoments, and #TakeAction progress with us at Find the full version of our show notes at

#40 Real Truth  

Truth was an important concept to Bruce Lee and it shows up often in his journal entries. But the way he used the word “truth” was not to describe a fact or to be the opposite of a lie. He wrote about a deeper, more of a philosophical, spiritual definition of truth—a concept close to the Tao. It’s why we’re calling it The Real Truth. “The word Tao has no exact equivalent in the English language, to render it into way, principle, or law, is to give it too narrow of an interpretation. Although no one word can substitute for its meaning, I have used the word truth for it.” Bruce understood Truth to be the Tao or the way of the universe. Truth is nowhere and everywhere at the same time, and there a little bits of Truth in all things. This is the way of nature. “Truth is a pathless road, a road that is not a road. It is total expression that has no before or after. How can there be methods and systems by which to arrive at something that is living? To that which is static, fixed, dead, there can be a way, a definite path but not to that which is living.” The Real Truth is something that’s alive, something that we are in relationship with, and happening in the present moment. “Truth comes when your mind and heart are purged of all sense of striving and you are no longer trying to become somebody. It is there when the mind is very quiet, listening timelessly to everything.” “I’ve said before truth is nowhere to be found on a map, your truth is different than that of mine. At first you might think that this is truth, but later you discover another truth and the former truth is denied, but you are, in fact, closer to truth. Perhaps when we have found more about what is not the truth we will be that much closer to the truth.” A core tenet of Bruce Lee’s philosophy is independent inquiry. “We shall find the truth when we examine the problem. The problem is never apart from the answer; the problem is the answer.” If you are moved to this path of Truth, you will come up against established ways and you’ll have to confront your own biases. It’s ok to hold on to your truths, but you should check in regularly with yourself to see if they remain true. “I’m a changing as well as ever-growing man.” Take Action: Are you a seeker? Do you want to be a seeker? Acknowledge that you’re a seeker and on this path to truth and freedom. Tackle one judgment or cultural context that you were raised in and be in inquiry with it. Are you happy in your everyday life? What shifts can you make to amplify your joy? #AAHA This week our #AAHA is Japanese artist and writer Yayoi Kusama. She has worked in a wide variety of media: painting, sculpture, collage, performance art, and environmental installations. She was a part of the pop art movement and influenced Andy Warhol, and exhibited alongside them but did not receive very much recognition during the 1960s. Kusama is now recognized as one of the most important living artists to come out of Japan. In 2008, Christies’s New York sold a work for her for $5.1 million, then a record for a living female artist. Major retrospectives of her work have been held at the MOMA, the Whitney Museum, the Tate Modern, and the Hirshhorn Museum. Her Infinity Room exhibit is currently on display at the Broad in Los Angeles. Yayoi Kusama, you are so awesome! #BruceLeeMoment This week’s moment comes from listener Bruce P.: “I just wanted to say thank you for the great podcasts. I am a hospice chaplain and I obviously deal with grief all day long on a daily basis. Shannon's frequent laughter as she discusses Bruce's philosophy and daily life certainly helps me break out of the oppressive spiraling memory of what I have just witnessed at the bedside of a patient. Thank you for the refreshing dialogue and thought provoking discussions presented in such an entertaining way.” Share your #AAHAs, #BruceLeeMoments, and #TakeAction progress with us at Find the full version of our show notes at

#39 Experience and Imagination  

Taky Kimura once wrote Bruce Lee a letter saying that the students at Bruce’s Gung Fu studio were asking for more techniques. Bruce wrote back that they didn’t need “more” but to go deeper into the practice and expand the students’ imagination: “First and foremost I would like to impress a most important rule of teaching in your mind and that is the economy of form. Follow this rule and you will never feel like you have to add more and more so-called sizzling techniques to keep your students interested.” “I hope I have impressed in your mind a most important rule of our style. Stick to the program I have given you, use variety, and do not worry too much that your student need more and more to stay with you. True only if they can do perfectly all that you’ve taught them. Remember, the idea that one has to come in thousands of times in order to perfect one judo throw. And of course, use your own experience and imagination, and you will do well. I have faith in you, Bruce.” Bruce was trying to communicate the difference between experience and imagination or another way he expressed this ideas was knowledge and knowing. “Knowledge is from a source, from an accumulation, from a conclusion, while knowing is a movement, is a constant movement. Therefore there’s no static state, no fixed point from which to act. Knowledge is binding but the movement of knowing is not binding.” When you’re stuck in a set pattern, this is where imagination comes in and asks: What if this is not true? Where can this lead instead? Imagination expands the experience to infinite possibilities. Imagination can feel really big or fantastical, but just by questioning something you are using your imagination and seeing something that wasn’t there before. “If you learn concepts, if you work for information, then you don’t understand, you only explain. When a man is thinking, he stands off from what he is trying to understand.” Go ahead and learn the knowledge—even master the knowledge, but also apply it to the real world, test it out and see how you can modify it to fit your own needs. Cut away all that is not essential until it fits you perfectly. Bruce Lee always customized ideas or practices to fit his own mind body and spirit. “Remember, I am no teacher. I can merely be a signpost for a traveler who is lost; it is up to you to decide on the direction. All I can offer is an experience, but never a conclusion. So even what I have said needs to be thoroughly examined by you.” Take Action: Test a formula or conclusion that you have. How can you customize it? Where are you finding yourself bored? Inquire as to why you’re bored. #AAHA (Awesome Asians and Hapas) This week our #AAHA is Inbee Park who is a South Korean professional golfer who plays on the LPGA Tour and the LPGA of Japan Tour. In 2013 and 2014 she was ranked #1 in the world and has won seven major championships in her career. She is the youngest player to win the Women’s US Open and the second player to win the Women’s PGA Championship three years in a row. In 2016, she won the first Olympic gold medal since 1900 in the women’s individual tournament. Inbee you’re killing it, and we think you’re awesome! #BruceLeeMoment This week’s #BruceLeeMoment comes from Ven: “After hearing your podcast on Bruce's Lee poetry I simply had to write to you both. I remember you both mentioning the importance of expressing yourself to the ones you love. Whether that be through writing a poem about that person or just generally breathing life into the feelings you have inside about them in some way. Well for me, I wrote a song about my long-time girlfriend of four years, LeCreshia. I released the song on my social music sites in honor of my true and genuine appreciation for her for sticking with me all these years.” Share your #AAHAs, #BruceLeeMoments, and #TakeAction progress with us at Find the full version of our show notes at

#38 Confidence  

Bruce Lee embodied so much confidence both onscreen and off that you might have assumed that he was born that way. But in fact, self-confidence was a trait he practiced and cultivated with clear intention and a daily ritual. “I know, through the principle of auto-suggestion that any desire I persistently hold in my mind will eventually seek expression through some practical means of attaining the object. Therefore, I will devote ten minutes daily to demanding of myself the development of self-confidence. I have clearly written down a description of my definite chief aim in life, and I will never stop trying until I shall have developed sufficient self-confidence for its attainment.” In these 10 min, Bruce would reference his daily affirmations and visualize succeeding, and then he would take action. Another part of his confidence practice was not being dependent on the approval of others or letting their criticism hold him back. “The spiritual power of man’s will removes all obstacles.” “Action is a high road to self-confidence and esteem. Where it is open all energies toward it and its rewards are tangible.” “Remember my friend, it’s not what happens that counts but how you react to it. Your mental attitude depends on whether you make it a stepping stone or a stumbling block.” “Suffering itself does less to afflict the senses than the anticipation of suffering.” “Never waste energy on worries or negative thoughts all problems are brought into existence, drop them.” If you have faith in yourself, then all of these worries and anxieties will dissipate. “Persistence, persistence, persistence. Just don’t give up. The power can be created and maintained through daily practice, through continuous effort.” “Because one’s self-consciousness is too conspicuously present over the entire range of ones attention, one should get rid of the intruding self and apply himself to the work to be done, as if nothing in particular were taking place at the moment.” “What does self-willed mean? Hell, isn’t it knowing that one is the captain of ones soul, the master of one’s life? Accept responsibility for yourself.” “Success means, doing something sincerely and wholeheartedly." Take Action: Make a 10 min. daily practice of putting your thoughts towards your goals, saying your affirmations aloud, honestly praising yourself, and willing yourself to take action. Turn this into a journal entry and pick one action item that will help you towards your goal. #AAHA This week’s #AAHA comes as a recommendation from listener Jeronimo, thank you Jeronimo for telling us about Mark! Mark Bustos is a Fillipino American who is a hairstylist for an elite salon in NYC with a celebrity client list and provides free haircuts to the homeless. His idea is simply to give back. Mark says, “Whether I’m giving one at work or on the street, I think we can all relate to the haircut and how it makes us feel. We all know what it feels like to get a good haircut.” We want to say thank you for gifting your talents, you’re awesome Mark! #BruceLeeMoment This week’s #BruceLeeMoment comes from Thomas: “The big, intimidating problem, high on speed and blocking the door, walking toward me demanding money, also indicating he has a gun. As terrified as I am I realize that this is what I have been training for all my life. a moment of crisis; a possible injury or death. I remember my lessons which I take as don't define this moment, be free of my ideas of this being bad or good, of facing death or the threat of dying with dignity. Be a lesson in how you care for this moment. Because he is too high, he is in danger of harming all of us, me, my girlfriend and her father who may return any moment, and himself. His actions show me he is not able to take care of us, so it is my responsibility to care for us all.” Share your #AAHAs, #BruceLeeMoments, and #TakeAction progress with us at Find the full version of our show notes at

#37 On Being Human  

“Being a real human being” is a concept that comes up often in Bruce’s writings, he didn’t want to be considered just an actor or a martial artist, but as a human being who was growing, evolving and creating. “The function and duty of a quality human being, is the sincere and honest development of potential and self-actualization.” “Do you know how I like to think of myself? As a human being. Because under the heavens, under the sky, there is but one family.” There is a unifying quality to Bruce Lee that connects us on a human level. This unifying philosophy is needed now because of the divisiveness among people in the world. “The simple truth is that these opinions on such things as racism, are traditions which are nothing more than a formula that was laid down by elder peoples experience. As we progress and time changes, it is necessary to reform this formula. I, Bruce Lee, am a man who never follows these formulas of the fear mongers. So no matter if your color is black, or white, red or blue, I can still make friends with you without any barrier.” “If I say that everyone under the sun is a member of a universal family, you may think that I’m bluffing and idealistic. But if anyone still believes in racial difference, I think he is too backward and narrow. Perhaps he does not understand man’s equality and love.” “I’m not one of those guys who can just brush people off. If I can take a second to make someone happy why not do it? A person cannot forget someone who is good to them.” Most of our anxiety and pain comes from feeling disconnected and just little moments of empathetic human interaction can make us happier and feel like a human being. “Sensitivity is not possible if you are afraid.” “The point to be made about ego is that man should use his ego and not be used by ego or blinded by it.” “Don’t have an attitude, open yourself, focus yourself, express yourself, and in doing that connect with people so that they can share in the expression of who you are.” Take Action: How do you move through the world? Are you open to growth and change? Do you think of people as the “other”? If you find yourself feeling fearful about human connection and vulnerability, why is that? Try to just smile at another person. Find small ways to open the door a little. Pick someone who you already like and share with them something you appreciate about them. If you go out into the world with the view that we are all one family, how does that change how you interact with the world? #AAHA This week we have an #AAHA nomination of Tyrus Wong from listener Lauren L.: “I would like to nominate the late Tyrus Wong for the #AAHA segment of your podcast. In his 106 years of life, he was an incredible artist; of paintings, murals, and kites. He comes from rough beginnings where, at the age of nine, he immigrated with his father from China. His career as a designer, illustrator, and storyboard artist for Hollywood was most certainly no cake walk; especially as an Asian man in his profession during the 1930's-1960's. The number of times he had faced discrimination and being called "chink" is hard to keep track of. Despite the struggles, Tyrus did succeed in his field. He was the storyboard artist for a number of notable live-action films like "Rebel Without a Cause" and he was the head artist on the Disney animated film, "Bambi." #BruceLeeMoment This week’s #BruceLeeMoment comes from Thinh L.: “The episode "Medicine for my suffering" thoroughly resonates with me. Early 2012 I developed a spinal condition known as spondylolisthesis, in which one vertebra in my lower back becomes disjointed from the other. Like the quote says, "the ailment came from within myself". I was my own worse enemy in this instance. But I also realized that I was my own best medicine.” Share your #AAHAs, #BruceLeeMoments, and #Take Action progress with at The full version of the show notes is at

#36 Gung Fu  

Gung fu translated means: discipline and training toward the mastery of some skill. It is applied to martial arts but it can be applied to anything. Ultimately, Gung fu is a pathway toward mastery and a deeper understanding of yourself and life. Yin Yang is the basic structure of Gung fu. This is expressed with the Law of Harmony: “One should be in harmony within and not rebellion against the strength and force of opposition.” “The law of harmony thus fits in with the law of non-interference with nature, which teaches a Gung fu man to forget himself and follow his opponent. He does not move ahead but responds. So the basic idea is to defeat the opponent by yielding to him and using his own strength against him.” “No-mindedness is not a blank mind that excludes emotions, nor is it simply a calm or quiet mind. It is the “non-graspiness” of the mind that constitutes the principle of no-mindedness. A Gung fu man employs his mind as a mirror, it grasps nothing, it refuses nothing, it receives but does not keep.” “Concentration in Gung fu does not have the usual sense of restricting the attention to a single sense object. It is simply a quiet awareness of whatever happens to be here and now. The mind is present everywhere because it is nowhere attached to any particular object and it can remain present because even when relating to this or that it does not cling to it.” If you have such artistry and mastery then in you are in the flow. The attainment of self-mastery or connectedness is grown through the daily practice of life. We can all be artists of our own lives, through our discipline, practice, and training at being a human being, you can gain freedom and transformation. “There are three stages in the cultivation of Gung fu: the primitive stage, the stage of art, and the stage of artlessness.” “Remember that man created method and method did not create man. You yourself are expressing the technique, you’re not doing or following the technique.” Gung fu is anything you practice with effort, discipline, harmony, and humility, towards mastery. “True mastery stems from mastery of oneself. The ability developed through self-discipline, to be calm, fully aware, and completely in tune with oneself and the surroundings. Then, and only then, can a person know himself.” Take Action: What is your Gung fu? What is it that you are actively working on mastering? It doesn’t have to be a physical skill, it’s a skill that is natural to you and should excite you and bring you joy. #AAHA (Awesome Asians and Hapas) This week our #AAHA is Korean-American filmmaker and actor Justin Chon. He just premiered his film “Gook” at Sundance. It’s a film about living through the LA riots in the 90’s and his family’s experience owning a market that was looted. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the riots and Justin wanted to create a film about the Korean American experience during that time. About half of all the damage caused by the LA riots were to Korean businesses. The police weren’t coming to help them so the shop owners had to defend the stores themselves. Justin raised money through Kickstarter, and actually raised double what he asked, which showed him that people really wanted this story told. We think it’s great that you’re creating your own projects, Justin--you’re awesome! #BruceLeeMoment This week’s #BruceLeeMoment excerpt comes from Matthew R.: “I suffer from PTSD, OCD, & Social Anxiety from the trauma of hearing of [my father’s] death and other traumas I experienced in my life. I have always been a fan of your dad and his outlook on life. I recently started listening to the podcast and love it. It is very therapeutic for me. A quote, and the story behind it, of his that has recently made a big impact on my life is, "When life gives you obstacles you must summon the courage and walk on!" Share your #AAHAs, #BruceLeeMoments, and #Take Action progress with at Full version of our show notes at

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